The past few years, social media has experienced many changes keeping marketeers and PRs on their toes. From the introduction to IGTV, Instagram Stories and popularity of TikTok and Twitch, the ways of creating and reaching audiences has expanded. With this, we also saw a rise in negativity across social media. People began to turn ‘off’ due to hard sells and poorly placed sponsored posts, while trolls and cancel culture seeped into all aspects of social. Digital marketing can be a difficult place to navigate in search of guaranteed success especially due to changing algorithms and engagement rates; However, as we’ve seen with the Covid-19 pandemic, digital connections are more important than ever.
Sabrina Barr writing for The Independent hit the nail on the head:
“Having been separated from the majority of our friends and family members due to social distancing measures, many of us are now having to rely on platforms such as Zoom and Houseparty in order to keep in touch with our loved ones.
While members of the public might normally go to the gym as part of their weekly routine, many are now partaking in live-streamed fitness sessions from the comfort of their homes in an attempt to maintain structure in their lives.
Activities such as video chats, virtual fitness classes and continuous scrolling through newsfeeds on social media have resulted in an increase in the amount of time many people are spending on their phones — a fact that hasn't gone unnoticed.”
Influencers have had to adapt and change their content from overly styled fashion shots which seem out of place when you aren’t advised to leave the house, to creating baking tips and sharing workouts on IG Live. If you haven’t seen Kimberley Walsh’s workouts, (wearing Regatta fitness gear of course!) you are missing a trick!
Brands have begun to launch products with ‘digital press and influencer events’ on Zoom with some influencers going on to say they enjoy the digital aspect and the lack of travel involved to get the information. Is this the beginning of the end of the traditional press day and schmoozing brunch? Only time will tell but as an agency LABEL can see that brands will be tempted by digital launches to save budgets while matching coverage output if not out performing traditional event mechanics – it’s easier to RSVP yes for an event hosted in your living room after all.
Influencers who have something relevant and useful to say, with a genuine personal brand to match, are the winners of lockdown. The audience is after human interaction, not a perfectly filtered fantasy. However, those influencers who joined the bandwagon to make a quick buck and have limited engagement with a bought audience, may find their cash cow has come to an end.
Read more on how Covid-19 is affecting brands here.